The buzzword of the night was consistency. Both Knights coach Tom Kowal and Knights captain Tim Gelatt made use of the noun in speaking in the pre-game, both making reference to the need for more of it. Following a weekend in which the Knights responded to a sweep by getting swept, the search for 60 minutes of steady play continued with a meeting with the winless Northeast Generals.
Through the first six minutes of play it appeared the Knights had left their struggles in Johnstown, outshooting the Generals comfortably, but were unable to solve Northeast netminder Gabe Vinal. Things took a sharp turn at 7:07 when a shot from the top of the zone deflected off of former Knight Kohei Sato and past Colt Hanks to give the visitors the 1-0 lead.
The remainder of the period’s momentum proceeded to swing to the Generals’ legs. They created the better opportunities and stymied a Knights power play to close out a first period.
The second period began with the remnants of the Knights power play expiring without incident, but the team quickly changed course. At 1:16 into the second period Mike Gelatt got the Knights on the board following a blue-line shot from Keenan Sabatini that was deflected by Paul Maust to Gelatt.
Carrying the momentum through the majority of the period, the Knights continued to create scoring chances which Vinal denied until Maust was set up on a beautiful pass from Khristian Acosta from behind the net. Maust fired one by Vinal to give the team a 2-1 lead that would hold to the third.
The Generals would not go quietly, and on the powerplay to open the third Northeast’s Justin Jallen would rip the puck past Hanks to knot the game at two.
Paul Cimilluca picked an ideal time to notch his first NAHL tally four minutes later, placing a shot through traffic to give the Knights the lead, one that they would not relinquish, but build.
Jimmy Elser would add a score at 6:31 following up on his own rebound after being set up by a Curtis Carlson helper. Dorian Dawson put another on the board after a sharp pass from the corner from Reed Robinson. Robinson would put the icing on the cake at 19:05 after faking out Vinal for the game’s final tally.
The win marked Colt Hanks’ 4th of the season, one in which he stopped 19 of 21 shots, bringing his record to 4-3 on the season.
The Knights skated away with a 6-2 victory to improve to 12-13-0-1 on the season. They’ll take the ice once next in New Jersey on Wednesday December 7th at 12:45 pm.